Mike D’Antoni will not return to the Houston Rockets.
The Houston Rockets might’ve lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games, but the scorelines in these games don’t do justice to the fact that the Rockets looked like they gave up in the middle of this series. Someone needed to go in order to shake things up, and the scapegoat appears to be head coach Mike D’Antoni.
Daryl Morey and the Rockets will not bring back the 69-year-old D’Antoni for the 2020-21 seasons, per Adrian Wojnarowski. D’Antoni leaves Houston with a 68 percent winning percentage and a Coach of the Year Award under his belt.
Mike D’Antoni came up short in the playoffs once again
Morey appeared to have found the ideal coach for his futuristic, three-point heavy style of basketball, as D’Antoni running a three-guard, two-forward run-n-gun offense with James Harden at the center of it all seemed like a match made in heaven. While the combination has produced a good amount of regular-season success, D’Antoni has come up short time and time again in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, just like his stints with the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers, D’Antoni’s high-octane offense always seems to fizzle out in the postseason. While he did make the conference finals and semifinals within the last three years, Houston is clearly thinking championship, and D’Antoni’s gaudy offensive numbers have yet to translate to playoff success. When you play 6-5 PJ Tucker at center, what did you expect would happen?
D’Antoni’s style of play hasn’t changed in two decades. While it may be exciting and record-breaking in the regular season, even Hall of Fame talents struggle to win in the postseason with it. Houston will need to dig deep in order to find their next Rudy Tomjanovich who can lead them to championship glory.